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Resource Center

The Resource Center at Old Town School of Folk Music is a comfortable space for reading and listening that is located in the basement of our 4544 North Lincoln Avenue building. The Old Town School maintains two distinct collections at the Resource Center: a library and an institutional archive.

The Library

Our library is home to over 17,000 books, videos, and sound recordings. These items can be checked out by Old Town School members, teachers, and staff. Most library items from the Resource Center are available to patrons of libraries participating in the Find More Illinois interlibrary loan consortium. 

Resource Center Hours:

  • Monday-Thursday 3-8 pm
  • Saturday 12-4 pm.

The library collection is searchable as a guest. Please contact library@oldtownschool.org for more information about becoming a patron who can take home books, DVDs, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, LPs, and CDs. For information about becoming an Old Town School of Folk Music member, please visit our membership page.

Search The Library

The Archive

Our archive is focused on Old Town School of Folk Music’s history and includes a large selection of concert, radio, and field recordings available for in-building listening.

If you’re researching Old Town School history and would like to access the institutional photo and document archive, please take a look at the finding aid for these collections, and make an appointment with Colby Maddox, Resource Center Manager.

View Photo and Document Finding Aid


Interested in Old Town School's unique history? Please visit the historical photo exhibit on the basement walls of our 4544 North Lincoln Avenue location. Also, six media rich, online chapters of Old Town School's history accompany this exhibit and are available from the link below – text by Tanya Lee, Ph.D., photos, video and audio curated by Colby Maddox.

Old Town School History

Resource Center Projects

Take a peek at some of the Resource Center’s past projects

The Archives Podcast

The Old Town School Resource Center podcast showcasing hidden gems from within the audio archives. Past podcasts include a six part series celebrating the School's 60th Anniversary with a mix of archival recordings (Studs Terkel, Ella Jenkins, Win Stracke, Frank Hamilton) and the words of the folks who took part in our 2017 oral history project with StoryCorps. Special collections like the Armstrong Family tapes and short, fact-rich song histories are also featured on the Archives Podcast.

To listen,

StoryCorps Partnership

In 2017, Old Town School's Resource Center partnered with national oral history organization StoryCorps to record and preserve a first-person, human picture of the school's 60-year history

Browse the full project at StoryCorps.org

Listen to all the StoryCorps conversation segments and learn how to participate.

Playlists & Live Recordings From The Archive

Browse Playlists & Live Recordings at Soundcloud

Contact Resource Center Manager Colby Maddox with questions.